Outline and Evaluate the Biological Model of Abnormality

Topics: Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Abnormal psychology Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: February 23, 2013
Outline and evaluate the biological model of abnormality (12 marks)

The biological model of abnormality is the idea that all behaviour is rooted in underlying physical processes. The biological model of abnormality assumes that there is a physiological reason for psychological disorders. The disorders are considered an illness and supposedly make a person with these 'disorders' abnormal. The model indicates that mental illnesses resemble physical illnesses and are thought to be treated in a similar way.

For example, a person showing symptoms of depression, e.g. difficulty sleeping and suicidal thoughts may be diagnosed as having an unbalanced amount of brain chemicals. This is believed to be 'treated' and then 'cured' by prescribed drugs.

There are six aspects to the biological model, the first being Biochemistry. This is the idea that our genes control the levels of biochemical s in our bodies, e.g. High levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin can cause anxiety but low levels can cause depression. An example of this is schizophrenics having high levels of dopamine. Another aspect is Infection, e.g. The syphilis bacterium can cause general paresis if left untreated. This is a mental disorder characterised by mental deterioration, forgetfulness, delusions of grandeur and possible ending in death. Neuroanatomy is the idea that mental disorders are caused by damage to he brain. For example, in 1966 Charles Whitman strangled his mother, murdered his wife. Then shot 14 people from the top of a tower in Texas. He was then shot. After his death, his brain was examined and a tumour was established. Schizophrenics have also been proven to have larger ventricles in their brains. This is though to be a cause if it was inherited. Genes are another aspect to the biological model. Mental illnesses are sometimes thought to be genetic passing from parent to their offspring. This has been instigated using twin whilst studying schizophrenia. The results came back as...
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